AS COVERED IN this blog, I’ve become a little addicted to NuZest’s Good Green Stuff, a blend of what seems to be every healthy green ingredient under the sun (review here). I discovered Good Green Stuff when I was given a couple of free samples by my favourite local supplement supplier, the ever-affable Andrew at Endorphin Systems.
Andrew also happened to include a couple of sachets of another NuZest product, the Clean Lean Protein powder. Upon first glance, I was tempted to hide them in the back of the pantry for emergency use because this protein powder is made using pea protein isolate. I had a terrible experience with pea protein concentrate in the past – I ordered a couple of kilos from a USA based supplier just to try something a little different. Not being a fan of artificial flavours and sweeteners, I ordered the unflavoured version and boy oh boy did I ever regret that decision because the stuff was foul, with a strong taste that pervaded everything I mixed it with.
Still, at the end of the day, I’ll try almost anything once, and many things twice just to make sure, so I mixed up a sachet of the vanilla Clean Lean Protein with some water, gave it a shake and had a tentative sip. My shock would have been pretty evident at this point, because unlike the other pea protein, this stuff tasted great – more like a milkshake (non-dairy of course) than a protein shake. I quickly perused the label looking for the sugar, sweeteners and artificial flavours but no, all I could find was:
Pea Protein Isolate
Natural Fruit Protein
I had to wonder what sorcery was used to make this stuff taste so good but after some time (and prolonged use of the unflavoured version), I’ve figured out that this pea isolate has a relatively benign taste, so it doesn’t take much to get it to taste great. It’s perfect in shakes and smoothies – the chocolate is actually magic in a green smoothie, which came as a bit of a surprise.
At 80 percent, the protein percentage in the flavoured versions is high, and the unflavoured one comes in at 88 percent, which is about as good as it gets. It’s a complete protein with all the essential amino acids too, and to make matters even better, there’s nothing bad in there either – no gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanuts, sesame, mustard, crustaceans, additives, preservatives, lactose, artificial sweeteners, artificial colours, artificial flavours, pesticides, GMO’s, chemicals or lectins.
On the downside, Clean Lean Protein is by no means cheap, especially compared to a bulk whey powder, but you need to look at top of the range isolates to get something this clean and to be frank, who the heck wants to ingest piles of dairy protein? In any event, you’ll always expect to pay more for the good stuff and this is an extremely high-quality product perfectly suited for vegan athletes. There’s even a new Wild Strawberry flavour in addition to Chocolate, Vanilla, Natural and Cappucino, so every type of taste bud can be happy. When it comes to protein supplements I’ve stopped using anything else and I’m using less protein than ever before, but please note that this is still a supplement; getting as much protein as you can from whole foods is still the right way to approach your diet. ASHLEY KRAMER